The Hastings City Council voted Dec. 5 to adopt an updated police body camera policy and program.

The city’s police department drafted guidelines for body camera usage based on the League of Minnesota Cities’ model policy. The new guidelines also include context from legislation passed last summer that regulates practices such as data storage. No one spoke on the policy during the public comments period.

In January, the City Council approved a pilot body camera program. During the pilot study, each officer used one of eight body cameras for two months between February and August, then evaluated the experience. The police department plans to buy 15 more cameras — totaling 23 cameras — Chief Bryan Schafer said.

Natalie Daher

Dakota County

County seeking citizen committee applicants

Residents can apply to serve on citizen advisory committees next year.

The open positions are on the University of Minnesota extension committee, library advisory committee, personnel board of appeals, planning commission, public art citizen advisory committee, special board of appeal and equalization. Mandatory meeting times and qualifications for each committee vary.

The application deadline is Friday. Information is available at

Natalie Daher

South metro

New bus route links Eden Prairie, Shakopee

A new suburban transit route is making stops at major workplaces in Scott and Anoka counties.

Route 638’s fleet of buses began running Dec. 5 between the Southwest Station in Eden Prairie and Marschall Transit Station in Shakopee. The buses stop at Hennepin Technical College’s campus in Eden Prairie as well as Amazon and St. Francis Medical Center in Shakopee.

SouthWest Transit primarily operates public transportation in Carver County. Schedules are available at

Natalie Daher


City Council approves final plans for $6.2 million sports dome

In November, the Chaska City Council approved final plans for the Eastern Carver County district’s new sports dome. Voters OK’d the project by passing a $66.7 million referendum in the fall of 2015.

The dome, which will be 230 feet by 450 feet, will have three multiuse sports fields with a fabric dome. It will be built for $6.2 million west of Chaska Middle School East.

By day, Chaska Middle School East students will use it for gym classes because they’re short on space, said Mayor Mark Windschitl. Chaska Middle School East and Chaska Elementary students will also have access. The fields will be open to community-based and extracurricular sports teams the rest of the time.

The dome will be up for about half the year and removed during the warmer months. Completion of the dome is expected in the fall of 2017 and to be usable for sports that winter.

“We’ve been talking about it for a long time,” Windschitl said. “It’s just something that’s clearly needed.”

Erin Adler


City transitions to new form of government

Carver will now operate on a council-manager, or Plan B system — an arrangement that appoints a city manager and gives them more authority over personnel, purchasing and daily operations — instead of the mayor-council, or Plan A structure, that it had before.

Residents overwhelmingly approved the change on Nov. 8 and the City Council voted to appoint City Administrator Brent Mareck to the city manager role. Mareck officially switched positions Dec. 1 and will receive a $3,500 raise as a result.

Most Minnesota cities use the mayor-council structure, Mareck said, though the council-manager structure is common in the southwest metro.

Mareck can now approve purchases and sign contracts up to $20,000 in value. He’s also charged with hiring and firing employees.

Carver will still have a mayor, and the City Council now focus on the legislative side of things, Mareck said.

He said the City Council suggested the change. Chanhassen, Chaska and Victoria each have a council-manager form of governance.

Erin Adler

Carver County

Historical Society awarded $10,000 grant

The Carver County Historical Society won a $10,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Sweatt Fund last week. The grant will help pay for a historic structure report specifying how to restore and repair the Andrew Peterson farm, acquired by the historical society in the summer of 2016. The report will cost about $100,000 and includes a full inspection and detailed history of the property.

The Peterson farm was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 because of Peterson’s experimentation with growing apples. It was the home of a 19th century Swedish immigrant whose diary inspired a beloved novel series and musical in Sweden.

Wendy Petersen Biorn, executive director of the historical society, said that as of last week, the society still needs $24,700 to fund the report.

Erin Adler